EXCLUSIVE: Are these Josh Boone’s first three ‘New Mutants’?

Game Of Thrones is going to be one of those pop culture moments that ends up overstuffed with movie stars when we look back at it, and I suspect one of those movie stars is going to be Maisie Williams. She has a compelling combination of maturity and youth, and everyone I”ve talked to about how she is on set seems to be convinced that she”s in this for the long haul.

With her on-screen sister Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) already joining the X-Men family in this summer”s X-Men: Apocalypse, it makes perfect sense that the X-Men producers would be looking at the show closely. Now comes word that The Fault In Our Stars director Josh Boone, currently co-writing the film with Knate Gwaltney, has set his first three cast members for The New Mutants, which is my personal pick for the “It”s about time!” award when it comes to which of these spin-off properties they decided to develop.

And sure enough, Maisie Williams is attached now as Wolfsbane, better known as Rahne Sinclair. When I was a New Mutants fan during the initial run of the title back in the ’80s, Rahne was always one of the most emotional parts of the puzzle. She”s a shape-shifter, a wee Scottish werewolf, and her immersion into the world of Xavier”s school was part of what hooked me on the series originally.

It appears that Anya Taylor-Joy, who made such an impression on audiences in The Witch, also made an impression on producers Simon Kinberg and Lauren Shuler-Donner, as she”ll be stepping up to play Illya Rasputin, aka Magik. That”s a great role, and it makes me laugh that you can almost read The Witch as a prequel at that point.

It looks like they”ll also be casting Cannonball, Sunspot, and Mirage, so they really are going for the most traditional version of the team, the first line-up, and that makes me extremely happy. You can expect James McAvoy to play a significant role in the film, which makes sense, and Alexandra Shipp, who plays Storm in this summer”s X-Men: Apocalypse, will make the jump to this team as well.

It”s exciting to see them finally bringing these characters into the world of X-Men, and it makes perfect sense in terms of timing. With Hugh Jackman already announcing that he”s finished playing Wolverine after the release of the upcoming third Wolverine movie, it”s clear that an era has ended, or is ending, and it”s time to start expanding the roster and growing some new movie stars for the series. Williams and Taylor-Joy are both exciting young actors who have been doing strong and interesting work already, and this should launch them into a whole different level of public awareness.

There's no current release date for the film, but there's a strong chance you'll see The New Mutants onscreen in 2018.

Fox was not able to officially comment for this story.

X-Men: Apocalypse will be in theaters May 27, 2016.